When Amazon introduced the Underground Actually Free program in 2015, it was a win-win for both consumers and developers. The former got to use and play thousands of free apps on their Android smartphones and tablets and Fire devices while the latter got compensated based on how many minutes users play their games or use their apps. But it looks like the online retail giant is going on a different app direction as they announced the shutdown of the program by 2019.
The Underground Actually Free program was actually a replacement for the “free app of the day” that the Amazon App Store previously had, and with this new announcement, they will probably be launching a new program to replace that as well. Developers can only submit new apps and games until May 31 but anything published before that date can still be updated until 2019. They will of course still get paid depending on how many hours users spend on their app, only until their contracts end.
As for the users of the apps and games, you will only be able to use the Underground app within the Amazon App Store until summer of 2017. But you will still be able to buy physical goods and have access to Prime Video content through it. And all the apps and games that you previously installed will still be available on your Android smartphone and tablet.
No news yet as to what’s next for Amazon and its free apps. Users will of course want to have a better program, as Underground was actually a good one, for both developers and users. Hopefully, we’ll have some exciting news soon.